Related Study Topics: distance education, online degrees

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Distance Education and Online Degrees - Part I

>>> Part II

I. Warm Up

One of the biggest worries among students is succeeding in school, and many more students are considering distance education as a way to get an online degree from the comfort of their home. However, such programs can be just as demanding as traditional classes and require a lot of discipline and motivation to complete. What do you think are the advantages of getting a college degree from an online school? Listen to this conversation and pick out the reasons why Ryan is getting all stressed out.

II. Conversation - Listen

Pronunciation Tip: TO changes to TA.

Background: Alex and Ryan are currently enrolled in a distance education and are meeting for lunch to catch up on recent events in their lives.

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Ryan: Hey, Alex. I didn't see you log on or post any messages ta the online bulletin board yesterday? What's up?

Alex: Ah, I pulled an all-nighter ta cram for tomorrow's midterm [Really?], but I have a feeling I'm going ta flunk it anyway.

Ryan: Of course. Well, if you didn't goof off so much [What!?], probably ace the test. You ALWAYS pass the tests with flying colors, but I'M the one whose going ta bomb it. [Oh.] I mean everyone knows you're a whiz at this stuff [Yeah.], but you skip class at least twice a week. You must be spending too much time with what's-her-face.

Alex: Hey, I haven't been goofing off, and she has a name, you know. It's just that the class is such a drag, and for me, it's sometimes a waste of time. I mean I know all the stuff already. Anyway, I've been working like a dog ta to pay for other expenses.

Ryan: Obviously, you've bit off more than you can chew, but man, you've just got ta hang in there. Hey, why don't we all get together and hit the books for a few hours.

Alex: Well, I guess it couldn't hurt.

Ryan: Hey, you can even bring along what's-her-face.

Alex: Hey, she's got a name, you know.

Key Vocabulary: [ Sample Sentences ]

  • pull an all-nighter : stay up all night
  • cram: study intensely before a test
  • flunk: fail (also flunk out = have to leave school because of poor grades)
  • goof off: wasting time instead of studying or working
  • ace a test : get a perfect score
  • flying colors: complete success
  • bomb: fail or do poorly on
  • whiz: a person who is very intelligent or has a special skill
  • skip class: purposely not attend class
  • drag: something that is boring
  • work like a dog: work very hard
  • bite off more than you can chew :: take on more work or responsibilities than you can accomplish emotionally or physically
  • hang in there: refuse to give up
  • hit the books: study
Origin of Idioms:

Biting off more than you chew refers to doing more work than you are able to handle, the same as taking a bigger bite out of a sandwich than you can chew and swallow easily.

III. Catching the Meaning

Read the following sentences and select the best expression for each:

1. You'd better tell your brother to stop ___________ and start getting serious about his studies.
A. cramming
B. slaving
C. goofing off

2. I thought I really prepared well, but it turns out that I studied the wrong chapters in the book, so I really __________ the test.
A. bombed
B. aced
C. skipped

3. She thought she could handle five difficult classes, but she now realizes she probably _____________________.
A. bit off more than she could chew
B. hit the books hard
C. is a real whiz

Score =
Correct answers:

>>>> Continue, Part II

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